Sunday, November 11, 2012

Speaking of Petraeus ... by gimleteye

"... let’s not forget that the top ranks have long been littered with people whose judgment on personal matters was at odds with their areas of expertise, from ex-presidents to late-night TV hosts. Some went on to recover their reputations. Some didn’t. But falling in love with one person while married to another should not, in itself, be sufficient to push a talented leader out of a critical job." Businessweek, Diane Brady

There may be more to the story of the extra marital affair causing David Petraeus to resign as CIA director. There are always stories of secrets and spies bound up with sex. Isn't that what attracted audiences to Homer's Iliad for a few thousand years?

But for the moment, let's assume there was nothing more than than a middle aged man at the top of a spy agency, deep into a thirty plus year marriage and wrestling with professional difficulties who was having an affair. It could have been the president of the United States. Not too long ago, it was.

Petraeus' mistress was apparently inclined to share news that she was having an affair with the man at the top of the CIA. Of the distractions that can mar a nation's attention, and the power of the president to pick and choose among them, President Obama didn't have a choice but to accept Petraeus' resignation. He has other irons in the fire, so to speak.

This would not be the time to gin up the conservative engine of moral relativism. God help us all: we've had enough of that lately. But it is always time to point out, that some of the worst sex offenders and cruelty has been met out by the holier-than-thou's -- from clergy to Boy Scout troup leaders, not to mention the odd moral standards of the nation's late, longest-serving FBI director.

If I were president of a more perfect world, I would have declined Petraeus' resignation because in a more perfect world there would be space for a president to have this conversation with the public; that individual liberty is exactly what it means even when our heroes confound our expectations.


Steve said...

I don't blame Petraeus because his wife is an old frumpy hag. She looks like a man in drag.

If you were a political figure who was married to Holly Petraeus, Hillary Clinton, or a similar hounddog, you would do the exact same thing.

Anonymous said...

Given that he was a security threat for the country, I respect him for stepping down. Obama had no choice but to accept his resignation. Intelligence agencies around the world, the CIA, and all kinds of foreign governments use sexual affairs, debt, and drug use as leverage for blackmail. Important men and women are spy targets and traps are constantly being set for them. That is why they have to watch everyone around them.

Anonymous said...

he should have just divorced his wife and he could have had as much poon as he wanted.

Anonymous said...

If he's married, he's made a commitment. If he can't honor his commitment to his wife, he can't make or honor his commitment to anything. He did the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Even if he had been divorced, this woman would have been problematic for him and the country. She was married, the mother of two children, and was sending strange emails to another woman who worked with Petraeus. Even single men of importance in the government have to be careful who they get involved with.

Anonymous said...

For some men beauty may or may not be on their check list for the ideal wife. There may be other factors that they consider important or more significant in their decision to select a wife.

My guess is that an enemy found his weakness and set him up. Hardly no one is interested in the people in these positions. They are only interested in the power of these positions.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't Petraeus just announce the affair himself and kept his position?
If Petraeus 'outed' it himself, there would have been nothing to blackmail him about.
(of course, I think both he and other woman are losers for having an affair in first place, even though in US we have individual libety to do so if they were both consenting adults)

Anonymous said...

This is about power, and we have to look at it in that context alone.